June 3, 2014 – With an eye on acquisitions and tackling worldwide markets, digital ad-buying company MediaMath raised $73.5 million in new equity financing, the company announced today. It also took out an additional $105 million in debt for a total of $175 million in new capital.
CEO Joe Zawadzki said the Times Square company wants to strike while the iron's hot: Just as the advertising industry begins to appreciate the full implications of so-called "programmatic" buying, or ad sales automated by software and real-time bidding that allows marketers more precise access to publishers.
"We are really one of the leading change agents in terms of helping make that transformation possible, and making marketing a software function," Zawadzki said in an interview. "So demand for what we're doing has really increased, and we saw the opportunity to lean in on a bunch of fronts."
Spring Lake Equity Partners in Boston, formerly the private equity arm of Tudor Investment Corp, led the equity financing, with help from Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) and several existing investors. Zawadzki said the company took out the debt, arranged through Silicon Valley Bank, as a way to avoid further diluting ownership.
MediaMath created the TerminalOne Marketing Operating System, which allows ad buyers to spread ads across a series of properties, and then allocate budgets based on results.
All told, the 7-year-old company has raised $195 million. With the new money, MediaMath will double down on its search for acquisition targets and expand hiring in Latin America, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. "We've hired aggressively, 100 in the last quarter, and we've got to keep that pace," the CEO told me. It acquired Tactads in April, and Zawadzki is looking for additional targets.
The funding stands in stark contrast to the recent poor performance by publicly traded advertising technology firms. Zawadzki speculated that public and private investors are reacting to different forces and sometimes make decisions based on broad, sector-wide factors that have little to do with particular company's growth prospects.